Albert Ferenz (1907-1994)
Woodcut 'E.A' (Épreuve d'Artiste / Artists Proof)
Inscribed 'Florenz - Dom mit Campanile'
30 x 20 ins / 75 x 52 cms
Albert Ferenz was born in Velké Hotice, Czechoslovakia on 2nd December 1907. He was a Czech / German artist and restorer.
Ferenz attended the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Applied Arts) in Breslau (1926-1931) where he studied under the German painter Ludwig Peter Kowalski (1891-1967). Ferenz and Kowalski remained good friends for the rest of their lives. Ferenz then attended Akademie der Bildenden Künste (Academy of Fine Arts) in Vienna (1931-1936) where he studied painting under Hans Larwin (1873-1938) and restoration under the Austrian art historian Robert Eigenberger (1880-1979). Before graduating, Ferenz also studied briefly under the Austrian painter Gottlieb Theodor Kempf-Hartenkampf (1871-1964).
Between 1936 and 1942 Ferenz lived, and worked successfully as an artist in Opava, the historical capital of Czech Silesia. Ferenz produced many paintings, linocuts, woodcuts, copper engravings and drypoint etchings and frequently contributed to group exhibitions in Dresden, Berlin, Wroclaw, Racibórz, Legnica, Opava, Reichenberg, Liberec and Gliwice. It was during this time that Ferenz also worked on the restoration of the frescoes by Josef Matthias Lassler and Franz Anton Sebasini in the Opava Jesuit Church.
In 1942 Ferenz was conscripted into the German Wehrmacht and was taken prisoner by the Red Army at Racibórz (Ratibor) that same year. Ferenz remained in a Soviet POW camp for the remainder of the war. While a prisoner, Ferenz would often draw portraits of his Russian captors and his fellow prisoners. Ferenz was released, unlike many off his fellow German POWs, in December 1945.
Unable to return to Opava, Ferenz went to Graz where (1946-1948) he worked for Karl Wagner, the director of the State Institution for Restoration in Graz, and did restoration work to the paintings in the Alte Galerie of the Landesmuseum Joanneum. Alongside Karl Wagner, Ferenz organised an artists exhibition which was held in the ballroom of the Stadt Theater (City Theatre) in Graz in 1948. Ferenz was granted Austrian citizenship in 1948.
Most of Ferenz's early works, which included about 300 paintings and 2000 pages of drawings, were lost with his studio in Troppau during the war.
In 1948, Ferenz moved to Vienna where, for a time, he lived in an empty studio courtesy of Kempf-Hartenkampf. Ferenz was a prominemt member of the post war Viennese artist community - befriending musicians such as the (husband and wife) violin virtuoso Wolfgang Schneiderhan (1915-2002) and soprano Irmgard Seefried (1919-1988). Ferenz participated in exhibitions at the Secession Building and Vienna Künstlerhaus.
In 1952 Ferenz moved to Munich and established himself as an artist in the Schwabing district of the city. He regularly exhibited (from 1953) at the Great Munich Art Show (Großen Münchner Kunstschau). In 1956, Ferenz applied for, and received, German citizenship.
In 1958, Ferenz founded the artists association 'Die Unabhängigen' (The Independents). Although their inaugural exhibition, held on 17th January 1958 at the Munich Kunstverein, was well recieved - and Ferenz was singled out for praise in the Süddeutsche Zeitung review - he left the group a year later.
Ferenz married Erni List in 1959 and in 1960, their daughter, Sabine was born.
During the 1960s and 70s Ferenz frequently visited Florence, Naples and Ischia (a volcanic island in the Gulf of Naples). He also traveled to Greece, Yugoslavia, southern France, Spain, Russia, Czechoslovakia, Crete, Tunisia and Malta.
Ferenz exhibited throughout his career and received several awards. His awards include 'Seerosenpreis für bildenden Kunst (1980) and 'Schwabinger Kunstpreis für Malerei und Grafik (1987) from the City of Munich and the Upper Silesian Art Prize following his (1980) exhibition 'Albert Ferenz Maler und Graphiker' at Haus des Deutschen Ostens (House of the German East) - now Das Gerhart-Hauptmann-Haus (The Gerhart Hauptmann House) - in Düsseldorf.
Ferenz was appointed a full member of Sudetendeutschen Akademie der Wissenschaften und Künste (Sudeten German Academy of Sciences and Arts) in 1979.
Albert Ferenz died in Munich on 16th March 1994, aged 86.